Thunder Picks #49
Well the dust has settled on a very hectic few weeks, which saw DJ Sprinkles play at one of the craziest (and definitely hottest) Thunder parties yet. Then we were fortunate enough to get to play out at the wonderful Electric Elephant festival in Croatia, where we opened up in the astonishing Barbarella's for some bloke called Derrick May. If you haven't been there, you need to rectify that soon. A huge, beautiful open air club untouched by the sponsorship and globalism that blights Ibiza, it is as close as you'll come to finding a time machine that transports you back to Amnesia in 1990. After that we were back in the UK to play at the annual woodland madhouse that is FARR festival and then last weekend I was genuinely honoured to play at our good friends To The Bone’s 7th birthday party. It would be fair to say they were a massive influence on us and what they do played a big part in the inception of Thunder. If you came and supported us at any if those parties, then thank you! August looks like an altogether more sedate affair, so Thunder Picks might be less sporadic. Might…
Lowtec – Untitled (Workshop #20)
There’s always a lot of fuss around Workshop releases, not least the recent Kassem Moose double album, although if I’m honest, I felt the outweighed the substance in that case. However, the reason there is such a fuss about this release is because of Workshop’s impeccable track record and leading the way right from the start was Lowtec. He provided the label’s debut release back in 2006, a record I was put onto by To The Bone DJ and Berlin house aficionado, Dave Stenton. He may be responsible the best release too (Workshop #06) and now he’s back with another low-slung, down-tempo, hypno-beast. Best Workshop in a while folks.
Brett Dancer – Hybrid EP (NDATL)
Cult deep house producer and Track Mode label boss Brett Dancer returns to the house music fray with a new EP for cult deep producer and NDATL label boss Kai Alce. Some of his older tracks go for absolute fortune and for good reason, so grab this while you can as the cult deep house quality doesn’t drop off on this EP.
Jack J – Something On My Mind (Mood Hut)
As regular readers know, I’m generally in full support of Moodhut records, so a new release from the Vancouver house crew always causes a ripple of excitement round here. Jack J (aka Jack Jutson) is one half of the Pender Street Steppers and provided the first release on the label back in 2012, a 6 track cassette. There are 3 tracks on this EP but the stand out is without a question ‘Something (One My Mind)’. Deep without being boring, laid-back but irresistibly danceable, it really could be one of the records of the summer.
Forthcoming: Black Booby at the Roach Motel (Black Booby)
Early September sees the release of the latest in the excellent Black Booby series, which has seen some killer house tracks and cut-ups from mysterious London producers and even Chicago legend Gene Hunt. This release is in homage to Terry Farley and Pete Heller’s project Roach Motel, which in turn was in homage to the New Work house sound of the early 90s. They’ve nailed it too, dismantling elements of the Roach Motel back catalogue and reimaging those parts into entirely new tracks, with the standout being the outstanding re-work of Roach Motel’s classic ‘Wild Luv’. Limited vinyl pressing so one to be quick on.
Repress of the Week: Levon Vincent – Solemn Days (Deconstruct Music)
We are massive, massive Levon Vincent fans down at Thunder Towers (and before you ask, yes we have asked) and have been for many years. Quite simply, he makes some of the best hard edged, techno tinged house music in the world. Pretty much everything on Novel Sound is now widely available but that isn’t the case with his releases on Deconstruct, so this repress will be welcomed by everyone who likes to less than 30 quid for records.
From the Vaults: Lowtec – Untitled (Workshop #01)
2006. 8 years ago. Bloody hell. Time flies. Still sounds great though.
That Disco Shit: Debbie Jacobs – High On Your Love (MCA)
“Now a whistle turns me on, and if you know that, bang a gong. Now I work on solar power and my batteeerrrries can last for hours” Without question, the greatest lyrics ever committed to a disco record. Also, worth checking out most things Paul Sabu has worked on, if borderline hi-nrg is your thing (it’s mine).
Thunder Anti Pick of the Week – Bootlegs Masquerading as Re-presses
I see yet another re-release is the shops that has ‘re-mastered’ and re-released in conjunction with the original artist(s). My stance about represses has softened over the last year or so, mainly because music is something that should be enjoyed, even by people who were too young to buy it the first time round. But this is just taking the piss, isn’t it? I could cite loads of releases but I’ll pick on the ‘Apartment EP’ by the NY Housin’ Authority. The shop blurb says that it’s been re-released in conjunction with Rheji and & Ronald Burrell but it has the full Nu Groove artwork, and as far as I’m aware, the Burrell’s never own owned Nu-Groove nor do they own the rights to the Nu-Groove catalogue. It’s priced at a UK price and there’s no licensing info on the label, so let’s be honest, this is bootleg and was probably mastered from vinyl. Yes, I’m all for artists getting their dues but Nu-Groove gave those guys a platform before they decided to fuck off and make piss-poor R’n’B, so they deserve to be paid too. Anyway, here are some clips which will probably encourage you to line the bootleggers’ pockets…
Mix of the Week: Mavrik mix from Stephen Howe
Not so long ago I played up at Leeds house night Mavrik. It was a great party, a small basement, packed out with a young crowd who all seemed to love house music, so pretty much perfect. One of the things that struck me about that night was how good all the residents were too. Afterwards we ended up at a house party somewhere in Leeds at 6am (on a Wednesday!) with a massive sound system in a basement, listening to excellent music. The man behind the controls then was Mavrik resident Stephen Howe. Here’s his latest mix – it’s great stuff.
Next Thunder: 3rd Birthday Party with Marcellus Pittman (3 Chairs, Detroit) Friday 12th September
Thunder is 3 years old in September and we have the mighty Marcellus Pittman jetting in from to Detroit to help us celebrate. For the uninitiated, Marcellus came to prominence as a house producer in the late 1990s when he teamed up with Theo Parrish to release 'Essential Selections, Vol. 1' on Sound Signature. He went on to join Theo Parrish, Kenny 'Moodymann' Dixon and former Thunder guest Rick Wilhite, as part of the production and DJ collective The 3 Chairs, who have helped to define the Detroit house sound that so many of us have come to love. Marcellus has since established his label Unirhythm as one of the big hitters in the Motor City, and he been responsible for two of the biggest records of the year already, his remix of MCDE and his downbeat bomb ‘Our Time Is Now’. More importantly for us, he’s a hugely exciting, fluid DJ with the sort of musical style you just can’t teach. Hearing Marcellus play in a small Dalston basement is not something that is going happen every day. He’s usually headlining festivals or selling out massive venues such as Fire with the 3 Chairs, so we expect tickets to go pretty quickly… maybe not as quickly as the 2 minutes it took the Sprinkles party to sell out though! Tickets are available via RSN Tickets here: https://www.rsn-tickets.com/events/1506/thunder-with-marcellus-pittman-3-chairs-detroit And if you've not been to Thunder before, here's a little clip to give you a flavour.